NBA Playoffs: Raptors and Nuggets bounce back to level series

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Eastern Conference

Toronto Raptors 111 – 82 Orlando Magic

Game 2 (Series tied 1-1)

Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry teamed up to turn the Raptors series around against the Magic with a combined 59 points between the two to win game 2.

Leonard finished with a career playoff-high with 15 field goals. He made his first nine attempts from inside the arc before missing a lay-up. He shot 15 for 22 before leaving to a standing ovation with 4:46 remaining and Toronto comfortably ahead 104-73.

Lowry, who missed all seven attempts in game one, shot eight for 13 and added seven assists.

Aaron Gordon scored 20 points, Terrence Ross had 15 and Evan Fournier got 10 for the Magic, who won Saturday’s opening series game 104-101 on a tie-breaking three by D.J. Augustin with 4.2 seconds to go.

Western Conference

Denver Nuggets 114 – 105 San Antonio Spurs

Game 2 (Series tied 1-1)

In Denver, the pressure was on for the Nuggets to wrestle back control of their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs.

Jamal Murray missed his first eight shots before a storming fourth quarter in which he scored 21 of his 24 points, leading Denver past San Antonio to tie their playoff series at a game apiece.

The Nuggets were in danger of losing a second straight game at the Pepsi Center after posting the NBA’s best home record (34-7) during the regular season.

They trailed 78-59 late in the third quarter before closing the game on a 55-27 run.

The series shifts to San Antonio next, where the Nuggets haven’t won since 2012, for Game three on Thursday night.

Western Conference

Portland Trail Blazers 114 – 94 Oklahoma City Thunder

Game 2 (POR leads 2-0)

While Toronto and Denver shook off their early playoff nerves to level their respective series, it was not to be for Oklahoma City Thunder as they were beaten for a second successive game by the Portland Trail Blazers.

CJ McCollum had 33 points, Damian Lillard added 29 and Portland roared to a 2-0 lead in its first-round playoff series.

Maurice Harkless added 14 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded Blazers, who opened a playoff series with two wins for the first time since the 2014 playoffs, when they beat Houston Rockets in six games.

The series shifts to Oklahoma City for the third game on Friday in what is a tie of huge significance for Russell Westbrook and his team-mates if they have any hopes of escaping a first-round exit.

Westbrook, who had his ninth career postseason triple-double in Oklahoma City’s opening game loss, finished with 14 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists.

Paul George had 27 points despite lingering questions about his right shoulder, which was covered with kinesiology tape.


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